AirTalk for March 14, 2012

LAUSD approves budget plan, as hundreds protest cuts

LAUSD board meeting

Tami Abdollah / KPCC

An LAUSD board meeting in February.

Demonstrators filled the streets surrounding L.A. Unified’s downtown headquarters yesterday, as board members voted 6-1 to approve a preliminary plan to bridge a $390 million deficit. The budget deal depends on multiple scenarios.

It aims to maintain the bulk of adult and early education programs, but this will only happen if furlough and salary agreements can be reached with labor unions and voters approve a $298 parcel tax this November, pushed by Superintendent John Deasy. The Superintendent predicts the tax measure would generate $255 million a year over five years for the cash-strapped district.

Meanwhile, thousands of teachers still stand to lose their jobs, as preliminary pink notices were already sent to more than 11,000 workers – a historic high, according to UTLA President Warren Fletcher. In addition to the budget-related items, the board also voted unanimously to approve resolutions to protect children from sexual predators in the classroom and improve transparency.

The budget news coming out of yesterday’s meeting was better than expected, but the budget fix is temporary at best. Will it be enough to salvage adult and early education programs? Are voters likely to pass Deasy’s parcel tax? What happens if they don’t?

GUESTS

Dr. John Deasy, Superintendent of LAUSD

Warren Fletcher, President, United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA)

Tamar Galatzan, LAUSD Board Member, District 3


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